Tiptoe Joe by Ginger Foglesong Gibson

TiptoeJoeHaving hosted our Friday morning Wee Ones Storytime for the better part of five years, I can attest to the fact that toddlers don’t like to sit still. They really, really don’t. Really. Any time they can get on their feet and moving, they’re happy campers! And this book provides the perfect opportunity.

Tiptoe Joe greets his animal friends and urges them to follow him on tiptoe to see a fantastic surprise. Each animal has a signature sound (which can easily be accompanied by a simple movement of your choice) that is repeated through the story. All this action is punctuated by the refrain, “Tiptoe, tiptoe, quiet please. Tiptoe underneath the trees.” It’s an awesome way to get kids moving in a controlled (read: not flailing!) way.

Repetitive stories are so helpful for getting little children involved, and author Ginger Foglesong Gibson is clearly clued in to that!

Read on, readers!
Miss Megan

Tiptoe Joe by Ginger Foglesong Gibson, illus. by Laura Rankin; Greenwillow (HarperCollins); 17.99; Ages 2-6

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More Storytime Favorites From Miss Megan

Summer’s an awesome time for our Wee Ones Storytime—we’ve got our usual suspects, plus a collection of older siblings home from school! It’s crowded on Friday mornings, which means we’ve got a great audience to tell us which books are the top choices of the two-and-under crowd. Here are a few that have been popular lately.

I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry; Dial Books (Penguin)

We follow a giant squid as he swims through the ocean, pointing out various other sea creatures. He’s bigger than the crab! He’s bigger than the shrimp! He’s bigger than the jellyfish! He’s even bigger than the shark! But, surprise, surprise—it turns out there’s one animal in the ocean bigger than our friend the squid. When a big whale gulps down our slimy protagonist, he’s a bit confused. But after taking in his new surroundings, he cheerily exclaims, “I’m the biggest thing in this whale!” I love to get kids involved with this one, yelling “BIG!” and stretching out their arms as wide as they can!

Yummy Yucky by Leslie Patricelli; Candlewick Press

This one always get its fair share of chuckles. Each page displays something that’s either (you guessed it!) yummy or yucky.  At first, comparisons are pretty standard—soup vs. soap, Mommy’s cookies vs. Mommy’s coffee, etc. But the yucky things get progressively sillier (Sand! Boogers! Earwax!), until we end in a fit of giggles from kids and grownups alike. I like to make this read a little more interactive by doing thumbs up for yummy and thumbs down for yucky, or asking kids to shout out “yes!” or “no!” based on whether the food/item is yummy or yucky.

Happy Hippo, Angry Duck by Sandra Boynton; Simon & Schuster 

This quick read about feelings is one that I sometimes like to grab if the “meltdown memo” has gone out. (Have you noticed that if one child starts to cry, everyone else has to join in? Why is that? Are these kids using telekinesis to communicate without the grownups’ knowledge?!) Anyway, trusty kid-guru Sandra Boynton has paired various emotions with animals (and one undefinable “frazzled thing”) to create an adorable, silly little board book that’s just the right length to keep kids engaged.

I Kissed the Baby! by Mary Murphy; Candlewick Press

Various animals talk about the baby and how they played with it, sang to it, tickled it, etc. This one provides a great opportunity to let loose with various animal sounds! Also, it starts out in black and white, and only gradually incorporates color, until when the baby duckling finally appears, we’ve got an explosion of bright colors as his mommy lays a giant kiss on his little head!

The More We Get Together by Caroline Church; Cartwheel Books (Scholastic)

This book is a simply illustrated version of the popular song, complete with adorable drawings of toddlers. It’s one of my favorites to use at the close of storytime, as we gently wind down towards our goodbye song. It’s also one that’s helpful to have within reach in case a ruckus breaks out. Issues with sharing? Sibling dispute? The perfect segue into this little story/song about friendship and being kind. Done and done.

Need more storytime suggestions? Check out my original list of favorites! Or join us for Wee Ones Storytime on Friday and Saturday mornings at 10:30 am!

Happy reading!

—Miss Megan